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The problem is big ...Today, the more than 4.1 million American Indians and Alaska Natives, representing over 566 Tribes, are suffering the worst health status of any group in America. Native people are impacted largely from preventable illnesses, at much higher rates and at much younger ages than the rest of the U.S. population

The leaders we need are already here - the wisdom we need is already present in our communities ... When it comes to doing something about disparities in health, investing in our communities to generate change works.

People in local communities have the passion, tradition and commitment needed to take the first and most powerful steps toward wellness. With a strong network and effective tools, they can mobilize powerful practices that are right for their communities.

Share your support for HNCP's efforts with Native communities - working to realize their own vision of wellness by clicking on Donate Now

Support HNCP thru the Combined Federal Campaign - Our Code is 41378

Healthy Native Communities Fellowship

The Healthy Native Communities Fellowship (HNCF) engages a diverse cross-section of emerging leaders through collaborative learning grounded in Native spiritual and cultural perspectives. This grassroots leadership development initiative brings together a diverse cross- section of individuals from throughout Indian Country.

The HNCF consists of three one-week leadership retreats enriched by ongoing coaching, peer mentorship and "FellowSpace" activities between retreats. These retreats work to cultivate Community connectedness by nurturing talents, building leadership, drawing on cultural and spiritual resources to enhance Community wellness.

The Fellowship develops and supports teams of change agents to lead creative wellness strategies in Native Communities. Fellows who complete the initial year-long Fellowship are invited to participate in HNCF years toward three where they apply their tools, strengthen their coalitions and focus on tracking Community changes and outcomes.

The Fellows represent a cross-section of their communities and unique partnerships between health systems, local organizations and Community members committed to improving the health and well-being of their Native Communities. Applying what they learned, they work collaboratively with Community members to listen, dialogue, take action on and reflect/evaluate on Community- identified issues.

Since 2005, more than 300 Fellows have graduated from the program and are working to bring positive change to their communities and organizations.

Youth Summit 2015

American Indian and Alaska Native youth from across the country came together in Washington, DC for the National Indian Health Board 6th Annual Native Youth Health Summit, "Youth Advocacy: Telling Your Story to Create Change". NIHB hosted 24 youth from 11 different states and 14 different Tribal Nations and Alaska Native Villages.
The youth told personal stories about the health and resiliency of themselves, their families, and their communities. Topics included suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, violence against Native women, diabetes, and texting while driving. The Native youth were invited to share these stories with the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and The White House Department of Intergovernmental Affairs.
After two days of intense advocacy work, these high school students participated in a three day workshop by the Healthy Native Communities Partnership, Inc., and created digital stories to bring attention to these important health issues and share their vision of how to improve. Youth called for law makers to change policy in an effort to better the health and well-being of Indian Country. The youth showcased the digital stories at the US Capitol on Monday, September 21, in front of Tribal leaders, Tribal health directors, legislative aides and fellow Native youth. Wearing traditional regalia, these courageous young men and women called for change.
The National Indian Health Board will use these videos to elevate the voices of these Native youth, showcase the health and resiliency of Tribal communities, and advocate for important health programs and policy in Indian Country.
For more information contact Michelle Castagne at

Their stories are hosted online at

Creating Community Circles for Change - C4

Throughout North America, Native people are working together locally to address health disparities and building solutions to promote wellness in the lives of their people, families, and communities. These Native change agents often feel like they are working on their own – disconnected from each other and from the support and resources that could help sustain their efforts.

HNCP's Wellness Resource Network supports Tribes and Native Communities in sharing best and promising practices for wellness and helps to connect these champions on the front lines of change. Members tap into a rich web of resources including customized trainings and proven tools in public health, leadership development, and participatory community wellness planning. Creating Community Circles for Change (C4) workshops connect people working on the front lines of change to share what works for wellness in Native communities

The goal of the New Mexico Native Communities Wellness Network, is to build a strong New Mexico network of learning and action for social transformation among the many grassroots activists working to renew and strengthen the quality of life in families and Native communities. Specific focus areas during 2015 and 2016 include promotion of breastfeeding and supporting healthy weight among youth.

Alaska's Regional Wellness Network builds on the strong foundation of more than 30 alumni of the Healthy Native Communities Fellowship. They gather with their community partners monthly for "Coffee, Tea, and Tools" to share effective practices for Alaska Native village and community engagement.

Since 2005, HNCP has supported the growing California Regional Wellness Network – providing support to the yearly California Native Wellness Health Forum, connecting Just Move It partners to share their stories, and providing training to digital storytellers across the state.

Health Communication - Digital Storytelling

Health Communication supports Native community voices for wellness through capacity building in Social Marketing, and Digital Storytelling. Trainings are available and customized to your group, please contact HNCP to develop a proposal that meets your needs.

Native Communities have a long tradition of using stories to make sense of the world, to inspire community change, to pass on teachings and wisdom, and to help connect the past and the future. Digital Storytelling takes the traditional concept of sharing stories to promote learnings and couples it with modern technology to create digital stories that pass on teachings and wisdom, connect the past and the future, and inspire community change. Many of us have our stories told by others. Digital Storytelling gives each of us a chance to tell our own stories, especially as Native people.

During Digital Storytelling workshops, participants learn new tools and apply these tools to create their own personal, community or program stories.

Each year, HNCP partners with the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) to facilitate the Youth Track during their Annual Consumer Conference. For the past several years, HNCP has provided a three-day Digital Storytelling workshop where groups of young people from across the country work together to develop powerful stories about health issues from their own unique perspectives. In 2015 youth shared their stories at a special red carpet public forum at the US Capitol in Washington DC.

HNCP provides trainings that integrate traditional teachings and Social Marketing principles. These customized trainings have been used to assist Native Communities and programs the design of health communications messages as well as for program planning. Participants follow a path that begins with community listening and understanding about the people who are being asked to make a change – what is important to them and what they think about the changes they are being asked to make. The group then goes through an analysis of the benefits, barriers, and costs of those changes - from the point of view of the people in your community. After this analysis, the group engages in an Action Planning process to design community messaging and activities to support the desired changes. The entire planning and implementation process is based in community strengths, relationships, and core values.

Just Move It

Just Move It (JMI) is a North American campaign promoting physical activity for Indigenous People.
JMI successfully engages communities toward an ambitious goal: to get 1 million Indigenous People moving.

Preventable chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, are hitting Indigenous populations at staggering rates. By expanding physical activity as part of a community lifestyle, a foundation of wellness can be built to fight this trend.

Many Indigenous communities are already taking steps to promote physical activity. JMI aims to strengthen these efforts by sharing what is working and building networks of Indigenous communities and programs.

Since 2005, our JMI website at offers partners access to resources and a vast network of support. JMI Partners stay connected and learn from each other by tracking their JMI events and experiences registering on the JMI website.

Our beautiful Healthy Native Communities Partnership National Conference Center circle began this morning with a prayer and song. We have an AWESOME group of people who are part of our two day gathering, representing diverse Native communities. Powerful stories, gifts, etc shared today. We also are thinking about the HNCF Alumni, JMI partners, Digital Storytellers, Community Champions, C4 Partners and all who have been a part of our circles that could not make it here. Know that we honor you and send blessing in all directions across Indian Country. #2015hncpartners
We got a wonderful surprise in our office today. One of our fabulous Healthy Native Communities Fellowship 2010 Alumni walked into our office today. Eliza Lupe! Mott Jane She is getting ready and in the area to pick up their official T-shirts. They are having their Whiteriver Breast Cancer Awareness Walk-October 17, 2105. Registration is at 8:00 a.m. and the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. on River Road. Eliza is also coming to our 2015 HNCP Creating Community Circles for Change National Conference in San Diego, CA. in two weeks. Eliza will be helping us with our early Just Move walks and runs on the beach during that week.
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